Update 26 June 2018: Geoffrey Blainey and Simon Haines weigh in for Western civilisation. Warwick Anderson, Frank Bongiorno and Gareth Evans and Brian Schmidt put the case for academic autonomy – itself a pillar of Western civilisation. Warning: some paywalls (perhaps also pillars of WC).
Update 23 June 2018: Christopher Hilliard of the University of Sydney responds to Bella D’Abrera. In Eureka Street, there was this from Andrew Hamilton. And Dennis Altman in The Conversation said we – or some of us – are too fixated on the Anglosphere. Katharine Gelber in The Conversation on universities and freedom of speech.
Update 8 June 2018: Fatima Measham in Eureka Street. The Prime Minister’s ‘please explain’ to ANU. Vice Chancellor Schmidt on 7.30. Lots of stuff behind the paywall at The Australian. Sydney University academics. An ANU student. First Dog on the Moon. Professor Dirk Moses of Sydney University.
Update 5 June 2018: Vice Chancellor Schmidt reiterates ANU’s position.
Update 2 June 2018: Federal education minister Birmingham complains. So did John Howard.
[M]any of you know that ANU has been in discussion over the past several months with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilization about a proposed partnership and scholarship program. We have taken the difficult decision today to withdraw from contention for the program.
We approached the opportunity offered by the Ramsay Centre in a positive and open spirit, but it is clear that the autonomy with which this university needs to approve and endorse a new program of study is not compatible with a sponsored program of the type sought.
ANU has an outstanding reputation as one of the world’s leading centres for humanities teaching covering the earliest human civilizations up to contemporary society and culture. The opportunity to augment our teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences, along with a generous scholarship program for our students, was an attractive proposition for ANU and I would like to thank the Ramsay Centre and its CEO Simon Haines for considering ANU as a partner.
I would also like to thank the many staff at ANU who contributed their time and expertise to this process.
While, of course, the nature of negotiations with donors is confidential, ANU approaches all partnerships and funding opportunities with the same core set of principles. These include retaining, without compromise, our academic integrity, and autonomy and freedom, and ensuring that any program has academic merit consistent with our status as one of the world’s great universities. I am very proud of how this university has shown an unwavering commitment to these principles, which underpin every decision of the University Executive and Council. These core principles drive our research excellence and are key to our outstanding global reputation.
Emphasis added. Fairfax and complaints from devotees.
1 June 2018 updated